Changing the Game – Increasing the Representation of Women in Sports Media

26 March 2024
Kahlia Marsh – 2024 Victorian Age Long Course Championships
Written by: Swimming Victoria

The Conversation of Sport: Representation of Women in Sports News Coverage is a new report from the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, delivered in partnership with global media insights firm Isentia, outlining the underrepresentation of women in sports news in Victoria in 2022-23.

Swimming Victoria (SV) has been steadily increasing the representation of women in our commentary team, including the voices of coaches, swimmers and fans from both metro and regional areas being broadcast to our livestream audience.

In September 2023 we held our second Commentary Course, this time funded by Change our Game. The voices you are hearing for SV, including Kahlia Marsh, Sam Purvis and Ania Siedlaczek are all recent graduates of the 2023 course facilitated by Tiffany Cherry and Chelsea Ryan.

Chelsea, who attended our 2021 Commentary Course, is a graduate of the Change our Game Women in Sports Broadcasting Program. Another round of the program, now called Change our Game Women in Sports Media, is calling for applicants. The program is designed to provide women who are interested in sports media the knowledge, skills and industry contacts to progress their career. Applications close Wednesday 27 March. For more information and to apply, click here.

The representation of women in sports news coverage is key in shaping how we view the world and who we, as a society, celebrate as heroes, leaders and experts in sport.

The key findings within the report:

  • Sports news coverage focused on women’s sport remained a minority at only 15%.
  • Only 4 of the largest 20 sports by volume of coverage were found to have at least balanced coverage (>40%). 
  • Women’s sport was more likely to be limited to the coverage of results, and less likely to receive deeper coverage and analysis.
  • Women were only provided with the opportunity to contribute 27% of bylines, although were 62% more likely than men journalists to report on women’s sport.
  • Men were 12 times more likely to be a source for women’s sport, than women were to be a source for men’s sport (excluding comments by athletes).

Read the report here: Conversation of Sport.

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